ATLANTA — When Marcus Stroman is feeling comfortable, chances are the guy in the batters’ box is feeling considerably less so.
There was plenty of that going on at SunTrust Park on Tuesday night as Stroman gave up just one unearned run in seven innings on the way to his second win of the season in a 6-2 Blue Jays score over the Braves.
With a lethal cutter/sinker combo humming all night, he forced 14 ground ball outs from the young Atlanta hitters and was in command in most every way.
“The thing we don’t really talk about and I feel we should is his ability to make hitters feel uncomfortable because of his timing,” said Jays catcher Russell Martin. “He’ll quick step, he’ll quick pitch ya, he’ll hold the ball. It’s never a comfortable at-bat just going into the box knowing that you have to honour the fact he might quick pitch you. It already puts you in a spot where you don’t feel as comfortable.”
Stroman, who made the 100th start of his career, thrives on such situations. It plays into his Stro Show mentality where confidence and intimidation can work hand in hand.
“I’ll be honest I’m not scared of anybody who ever steps in the box,” Stroman said. “It’s never been me. Regardless of who is in the box I’m going to attack and I always play up to my strengths.”
For good measure on Tuesday, Stroman added a single in the second inning in the park that he hit his lone career home run last May. You would expect nothing less of the showman in Stroman but when he reached the bag he celebrated with his trademark shimmy and some dance moves borrowed from teammate Yangervis Solarte.
Though he scattered six hits, Stroman was in control throughout, a nice bounce back from his previous outing when he allowed six runs in 4.2 innings against the Mets.
“I thought it was an outstanding effort. I think he’s rounding back into the shape we’ve seen from him so many times,” Jays manager John Gibbons said. “Since his return (from the DL) he’s been very, very good.”
If all had gone right this season, we’d be talking about Josh Donaldson preparing for a trip to the all-star game. Instead he’s in Florida where on Tuesday according to the team he “resumed baseball activities.”
That’s Toronto management speak for keep waiting. Donaldson has been hitting and throwing and running without negative symptoms on the “calf tightness” that has kept him out of the past 36 games. (That number is notable because 36 of 90 is all Donaldson has played this season.)
Apparently Donaldson is getting closer to a return, however, though it likely won’t be in time for an adequate pre trade deadline showcase.
“He’ll make it back,” manager Gibbons said.
The Braves countered with a run in the sixth on a two-out Kurt Suzuki grounder that found a hole in the infield.
AROUND THE BASES
The five-run eighth for the Jays began when Solarte reached on a throwing error and things began to unravel for the Braves. RBI singles from Martin and Kevin Pillar were followed by RBI doubles from Aledmys Diaz and Devon Travis to put it away … It was the 10th five run inning of the season for the Jays, five of those coming in the seventh inning or later … Smoak’s 13th homer of the season was his fourth in the past 10 games. He’s scored a run in five consecutive games, the longest stretch of his career … Jays starter Aaron Sanchez is getting closer to a return after a long-tossing session Tuesday afternoon at SunTrust Park. “Things are looking pretty good hopefully we get off the mound in the next couple of days and take it from there,” Jays pitching coach Pete Walker said. “Definitely encouraged where he is right now.” … Fellow starter Jaime Garcia is also progressing in Florida where he will need a rehab start or two but also has the potential roadblock of Ryan Borucki ahead of him in the rotation. The sense around the Jays is that the young lefty isn’t going anywhere … Tuesday’s game was the 100th start of Stroman’s career … The Jays had lost 12 of their previous 16 on the road prior to Tuesday … The Braves, who are battling to stay in playoff contention in the NL East, have dropped six of their past seven and have been outscored 43-23 in that stretch.
Source:: Toronto Sun – Movies